Sunday, 6 December 2009

Diana Watch

Oh, I've done something a little rash. I am a fan of a podcast called the Pod Delusion and I thought it might be nice to get involved. So I sent in an MP3 and I am on next week’s episode. Now this is a nice thing, someone else thinks that the piece I did was funny, but I've just seen the running order for next week. Oh my, there are some serious topics and some serious people on there and I'm not one of them. Suddenly I'm not so confident. Oh well, what's done is done. It's out on Friday and is available on Itunes. Really, this isn't false modesty; I'm a bit scared now. *SPOILER ALERT* Although if you read this blog regularly you will have already read the piece I submitted, it is the thing about Co-workers with colds.

In a country were being Gay is illegal you would have thought that that countries government couldn't have made it any harder (tee hee) or unpleasant for it's, already scared, homosexual community. But wait, what's coming over the hill, is it a monster? Well yes, kind of. The Ugandan Parliament is debating a private members bill that “prescribes life imprisonment for anyone who “stimulates the sexual organs” of someone of the same sex, with the death penalty for anyone whose same-sex partner is under 18 or disabled. It would allow people to be imprisoned for failing to report an instance of homosexuality.” (quote taken from here) That's life in prison or death. Nice.
I don't think I really need to go on about why this is not the correct course of action, in my opinion, for the Ugandans because if you are reading this then you are probably a nice person. The reason given by many politicians in that country for the introduction of this bill is that they don't want their country to be westernised. That's right, they claim that being Gay is a western problem and didn't exist in their country until we turned up and ruined everything. Now I do feel bad for the way the white man, especially the English white man, used Africa as his own but I don't think that that was our fault. The slaughter of thousands of people on the continent and the rape and pillage of it's resources, yes. Garnering an interest in soft furnishing amongst some of your man folk, umm, no, that wasn't us.
The bill also threatens the sanctity on confession because it states those in authority (A priest hearing confession) who do not disclose to the police knowledge of a homosexual activity with 24 hours of learning of it could face up to 3 years in prison. Now you would have thought that the Catholic Church would be up in arms about this, after all, the Seal of the Confessional is absolute and there are no circumstances (according to Code of Canon Law 1388) were the priest can break this privacy without instant ex-communication from the Church. However it seems that the Ugandan Catholics dislike gays more than they like their own rules as that have yet to make any statement on this issue at all. Also suspiciously quiet on this issue is the Arch-bishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. Despite being head of the Anglican Church and, therefore, in charge of those Christians who aren't Catholics, he has, at the time typing this, said nothing on the subject. Members of his church want to put people to death for being gay and he says nothing, which is some great moral leadership right there. And Christians try and paint atheists as moral free.
Oh, and it seems that a lot of the laws count for anal sex between Heterosexuals as well.
The reason that I'm going on about the response of the Church to this is because, well, how can I put it, umm, it was their idea. Uganda is a very religious country. Most of their politicians are religious people. It is also quite poor although doing better then many of their African neighbours. Whilst the Government is spouting anti-Western rhetoric it churches are taking millions of dollars directly from Right-Wing American Churches and Church Groups such as the rather sinister sounding, “The Family” ( I believe that that was the name of a Dr Who baddie). The Family, also known as “The Fellowship”, also seem to have the ear of the President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni. They are said to have cultivated a deep relationship with him. Many members of this group and others attended a conference in Kampala earlier this year were this law and other Gay related issues were discussed. One of the people who spoke at this conference was a man called Scott Lively. He is the author of a book called “The Pink Swastika” and he blames the holocaust on gay people. So as you can see he's a nice bloke and this is the sort of person influencing the Ugandan church and their politicians. Oh dear.

So Ofcom have released the list of the top 10 most complained about television programs and it makes surprising reading. The first thing that surprised me was (despite the Daily Mails best efforts) the lack of BBC programs on the list. Only Question Time made the list and that was the one with Dick, I’m sorry, Nick Griffin on. The rest are from commercial broadcasters, as you can see,

1. The X Factor (ITV 1): 5,975
2. Big Brother (Channel 4): 1,154
3. Britain’s Got Talent (ITV 1): 708
4. Celebrity Big Brother (Channel 4): 428
5. Question Time (BBC1): 364
6. Coronation Street (ITV1): 336
7. I’m A Celebrity…. (ITV1): 217
8. FA Cup 4th Round Replay: Everton v Liverpool (ITV1): 205
9. Jeni Barnett (LBC): 195
10 Boy and Girls Alone (Channel4): 183

The second thing that struck me was how few people actually bother to complain. Yes, nearly 6000 people put in the effort to phone or email Ofcom to moan about The X Factor but after that it drops off pretty quickly. In order to make the top 10 you only need to get 183 complaints. That’s hardly trying.
I think that it is entirely possible that Ofcom may have published this list a little early. I have heard that there are going to be some very offensive programs on over the Christmas period.
The BBC are planning on showing an episode of Antiques Roadshow were Eric Knowles goes mad. He smashes the vase that he is supposed to be valuing, rips off all his clothes and runs round attempting to find tin foil for which he can fashion a protective hat.
Over on ITV they have their own controversial programs. There will be a Christmas special of Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway in which Dec forces his greased up, erect penis into the unwilling arse of Ant (I don’t actually know which one is which) and the public get to vote as to whether he cums inside him or on his face. (Too much?) You will be able to buy the tie-in game for the Wii just in time for the season of giving. And there is an entire episode of The Thick of It where no one swears at all.

David Cameron has announced changes that he would like to see in health and safety legislation. He doesn't like the culture which has grown up which forces children to wear goggles to play conkers and makes trainee hairdressers use fake scissors when practising.
Whilst he has chosen some slightly silly examples (although see how quickly middle class, Mail reading parents would sue their child's school if they got a bit of conker in little Tarquin's eye) I think what this really is is an attack on important laws that protect you and me at work. Tories don't like rules and red tape that restricts the ability of business to make money, especially if they have to spend some of that profit on making sure their workers don't get killed. If you are an 18th or 19th Century Mill owner then the Tories are the party for you.
Some of their true colours are starting to stick out under the hem of the frock of social justice and environment friendly policy that they have donned in order to get themselves elected.
White Collar crime in general, not just corporate manslaughter, is not taken very seriously in this country. May I recommend the excellent Radio 4 program “Thinking Allowed” which did a very good 3 program series on white collar crime. You can download them from Itunes if you can no longer get them from the BBC website. Listen to fraudsters try and convince you that the lose of their reputation is punishment enough for stealing millions of pounds, it is shocking, the arrogance of these people.

The Award for Story I Care Least About of the Week.

Some golfist called Tiger something crashed his car. Other things may have happened. Is this what our news coverage has come too? As Paul Weller once said “The public gets what the public wants”, do you want this?

The Award for A Continuing Very Dull Argument I keep having With People,

This week a work colleague had a meeting at the new Doctors surgery in Dorchester. I passed comment on the good lookingness of the building, “oh no” she said. When I questioned her, because she is wrong, she said “it's in the wrong place, next to those old buildings”. I was going to shout at her for being a historyless doofus but was stopped by another co-worker.
I have said it before and I will say it again, at one time all buildings were new. Once the Taj Mahal was new. Once St Pauls Cathedral was new. They were built next to buildings that had been there for a while and people had got used too. And look at our new surgery anyway, it's lovely,


I know that one of my readers doesn't like it and that might explain why she moved to Canada (We miss you xx)

We're off to a naming ceremony of our friends first born now. We're not really sure what this entails but we are about to find out. My guess was smashing a bottle of champagne over the poor little mite but let's see.

Have a nice week all, I'm off to build some nice new raised beds for my allotment.


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  2. OK, now I feel I need to defend myself..

    Its true. I don't LOVE the sodding surgery building, but not because I hate modern architecture - in fact I'me generally very enthusiastic about old blending with new, lasting evidence of each generations contribution to the mosaic, demonstration of progression for other geneations to bitch at etc..

    Its just THIS building. I mean really??? Have you seen it from that back?? And the blue lights? Come one now..... And it seems to be trying to copy Art Deco, which I love, but not really representative of modern architectural inspiration now is it? I know. Each new idea is built on an old idea. But god. I just don't like it. Sheesh.

    Oh, and J loves it. Which might say something...

    And, the reason we moved to Canada was less about the building, and more about the wierd neighbours.